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Should You Buy or Should You Lease?

May 19, 2015

Most automobile buyers face the age old question of whether they should actually purchase their next vehicle or lease it instead, and the answer is never as simple as they would like it to be. For some people leasing makes the most sense, and for others leasing would be a terrible mistake. Learning the benefits of both and deciding for yourself which option makes the most sense for you is the only way to avoid going with the option that’s wrong for you.

2015 VW golf

Why Lease

Leasing makes sense if you are the type of person who likes to switch cars frequently. It allows you to have a nice new vehicle all the time and you generally don’t pay as much for a lease as you would for a car payment. With a lease you can switch between vehicles every few years and save money doing it, versus buying cars and selling them back to the dealership. Leasing a vehicle also means that you won’t have to worry about as many car repairs, and that you are more likely to have warranties and service agreements that handle the minor upkeep costs. It’s also easier to get into a lease with less money than it is to purchase a vehicle.

Why Not a Lease

While leases make sense for the people that like switching cars frequently, there are many reasons to avoid getting a lease. If you drive more than 12,000 miles a year at the most you probably don’t want a lease and would likely have to pay steep payments to cover all the excess mileage. If you want to maximize each investment that you make into a vehicle then a lease isn’t the right option either. Leasing is much more expensive than car ownership in the long-run, if you can commit to a vehicle for long enough when buying.

When Buying Makes Sense

For the frugal among us buying a car is the way to go. It’s cheaper than leasing a car as long as you stick with the vehicle for as long as you can. Once you stop making payments for the vehicle that you own it becomes much cheaper than a lease. The longer you go without making payments the more money you will save. Sure you’ll spend more on repairs and upkeep, but that money won’t amount to what a year’s worth of lease payments would and that’s how you save. Buying also makes a lot of sense if you plan on owning a business vehicle. Owning your own vehicle qualifies you for more tax savings and many more deductions than you can expect from a lease. That brings the initial costs closer to one another when you are comparing them.

All of these factors have to be considered when you go to pick up that new Passat or Golf. For some people it just makes more sense to lease the model they want for a few years and then move on. For others leasing is a terrible waste of money and ownership is the way to go, but you have to be realistic with yourself and get the vehicle that fits your actual habits rather than your ideal ones.

To Celebrate the 40th Anniversary VW Released Two Cool GTI Concept Cars

May 15, 2015

The Volkswagen GTI is coming up on its 40 year anniversary and to celebrate this Volkswagen put together two different GTI concept cars, one of which is being released as an actual production vehicle that you’ll be able to buy in the beginning of 2016. Both vehicles are pretty impressive, and each has at least one cool feature that makes it stand out. Take a look at the GTI Clubsport and the GTE Sport plug-in hybrid.

VW GTI Clubsport Concept

The GTI Clubsport

The GTI Clubsport concept is actually a car that VW plans on producing in early 2016 and this car is set to be the most powerful GTI to date. It uses an enhanced version of the GTI 2.0 TSI engine and offers around 261 HP constantly. The unique thing about this vehicle is that it comes with a turbo boost feature. Initiate the turbo boost and the car shoots up to around 287 HP for a short period before reverting back to the original power level. I can see this feature being a lot of fun for track use or for any particular dull stretch of road that needs spicing up.

The car comes with its own unique body style that’s designed to maximize downforce and offer improved handling. It will have an all-new bumper, new roof spoiler, different side sills, and its own diffuser for huge downforce generation.

VW GTE Sport Plug-In Hybrid

The Crazy GTE Sport plug-in Hybrid

The second concept that VW showed off at the show isn’t slated for production anytime soon, and it’s quite a bit more extreme. The GTE Sport plug-in is dropped down and stretched back two-seater version of the GTI. This racer has a set of doors that swing up vertically. It’s designed with a very futuristic interior and has a carbon fiber body.

The real impressive thing about this little car is that it offers a total of around 400 HP. With its lightweight framework that level of power is insane. The car can travel from 0 to 62 in just 4.3 seconds. To get that power it makes use of the 1.6 liter turbocharged engine packed in the Polo R WRC rally car, and it also has two 85 KW electric motors. One motor is set up in between the engine and dual clutch six speed tranny, and the other is mounted at the rear axle to provide all-wheel drive to the car. The plug-in makes use of a lithium-ion battery pack and can travel up to 31 miles on just electric power. The gasoline engine can be used as a generator, or all the engines can be turned on at once in GTE-Mode for a high performance power. When making use of all the motors the little car can travel at up to 174 MPH and should be a blast to speed around in.

 

The 2015 TDI Golf is one of the Best Compacts on the Road

May 3, 2015

Nearly a fifth of all American Volkswagen buyers decide to go with a diesel variant. It’s not surprising once you experience everything that a diesel model from Volkswagen has going for it. The Golf TDI is more powerful, more efficient and just plain more fun than most of the other Golf options. It’s an impressive piece of engineering and it’s easy to forget that it only has 150 HP when you’re zipping around corners and accelerating from a dead stop at traffic lights.

2015 golf tdi

Impressive Performance

The 2015 VW Golf TDI has an impressive level of performance for a vehicle with just 150 HP. This is in large part because of the massive amount of torque the diesel engine puts out at just 1750 RPM. Nearly right from the start you’ll have 236 lb.-ft. of torque available to you. This power gives the car a high level of acceleration that’s a blast to have available. The turbo diesel engine feels much more powerful than the TSI gasoline Golf and for the slight price increase it’s probably worth it. To top it all off the Golf TDI is rated at 45 MPG on the highway and has a combined rating of 36 MPG. That means you’ll have to fill up less and turns the car into an excellent trip vehicle.

Silky Smooth Handling

Volkswagen went all out on the Golf TDI’s suspension. It’s design to absorb bumps and uneven surfaces with ease, resulting in incredibly smooth handling. It’s miles ahead of the Mazda 3 in terms of comfort, but the car is still pretty responsive. If you decide you want to go for a fun run through a curvy stretch of road you’ll feel confident behind the wheel of this Golf.

Technically Savvy

The Golf TDI isn’t a cheap vehicle, especially for as compact as it is, but it comes fully loaded as well. It has a Forward Collision Warning system, it comes with a responsive touchscreen system with built in navigation and a push button start. When you factor in some of the other extras like the satellite radio and the heated seats it’s hard not to appreciate the Golf TDI. Once you’re enjoying all the included features you won’t regret paying the $30,000 MSRP.

Looks

The Golf is attractive inside and out. This model comes with a well laid-out interior that would be at home on a luxury vehicle. The deeply ridged seats look ready for the races, and there is plenty of interior space for taking long-distance trips comfortably.

The 2015 Golf TDI is a good all-around driver. Whether you need a car to take trips in or just an everyday commuter it has a lot to offer. It’s not really a budget vehicle, but for someone who wants one of the best compacts on the road it just makes sense.

 

 

Volkswagen is Considering Releasing a Truck or Van Into the US

April 23, 2015

For a while now Volkswagen has been discussing the possibility of launching a truck or a small commercial van in the United States. They know that there is available market share for the idea and that a full-sized truck could do well in the US, but still haven’t decided for sure if they are going to launch either vehicle. According to VW head of light commercial vehicles, Eckhard Scholz, the company is looking intently at both a pickup truck and a commercial van. It’s a move that makes sense for Volkswagen

volkswagen amarok

Truck Experience

It’s not like it would be Volkswagen’s first time selling a truck or creating one for that matter. The automaker already produces a mid-sized pickup truck known as the Amarok outside of the United States. It’s sold heavily in South American, Europe, Australia and even Russia. The truck has recently experienced a drop in sales because of poor economic conditions in some of the countries its sold in, and releasing a new product into the growing US market would be a good opportunity to make up for some of those lost sales elsewhere.

Expanding its Offerings

In order to increase its sales in the United States Volkswagen has been broadening its offerings in the country. They are currently working on an SUV to offer in the United States and the idea to bring in a truck or van goes well with their goal of expanding the brand further. The automaker does not plan to bring the Amarok into the US though because they say it’s too small for American tastes. Instead a larger truck would be developed to compete with the likes of Dodge, Chrysler, Ford and Toyota in the full-sized truck market.

Considering the Chattanooga Plant

It’s likely that Volkswagen would consider using the Chattanooga plant to produce full-sized pickups for the United States in order to avoid the hefty tariff such trucks would experience if produced in the current plants in Europe and Argentina used for the Amarok. The tariff is known as the “Chicken Tax” and affects any foreign trucks imported into the United States.

There’s still doubt that many US buyers will go for a foreign truck over one of the big three providers, but Toyota is proof that it can be done and that not every buyer is as committed as you would think. If Volkswagen does manage to release a top quality full-sized pickup in the United States plenty of VW fans will consider the vehicle and others will consider it especially if the vehicle has something special to offer. Volkswagen dealers are just itching to get their hands on some trucks to sell, and this would be a big opportunity for everyone.

 

Why Resale Value is So Important When Buying a New Car

April 13, 2015

According to the folks at Kelly Blue Book, depreciation will cost a car owner more than any maintenance, gas, repairs or anything else during the first five years of ownership. For that reason it makes a lot of sense to look out for vehicles with a higher resale value. By going for the cars that are going to maintain a high portion of their value you can get more out of your investment when you decide to move on to something newer. For those who are looking to make the most of their investments buying one of these cars makes a lot of sense.

2015 volkswagen jetta

To give you an idea of just how much of an effect resale value has on your wallet imagine that you were to pick up a Beetle for $20,000 and after five years you sold it for half its value or 50%. You would have received $10,000 and essentially lost $10,000 from what you spent originally. Now imagine that you picked up a Chevy Impala for that same $20,000. Only this time you only managed a 40% resale value leaving you with $8,000 at the end of five years. While you paid the same for both vehicles initially, the Impala actually cost you $2,000 more just because of its depreciation. That means you could have spent another $2,000 on fancy options for the other vehicle and you would have spent the same as you did with the Impala. The difference becomes even greater when considering more expensive cars so keep a close eye on resale value figures.

High Resale Means Reliability

Most of the time when a car has a high resale value it means that its highly reliable. Cars like the Volkswagen Jetta are known for continuing to run well past 100,000 miles, and that’s who so many people are willing to pay top dollar for these vehicles off the used car lot. What this means for you as a new car buyer is that with a Jetta, or a car like it, you’ll be able to get more of your money back in the end, and you probably won’t spend much on repairs and maintenance during those first five years either. Even if you don’t plan on reselling the Jetta ever it still makes sense to buy for resale value because the car is more likely to last over time.

Consider Unusual Colors

A good tip to help improve your resale value later on is to go with an unusual color instead of opting for a black, white or gray model. While dealerships will tell you that trade-in values will be lower for such a vehicle, if you plan on selling the car on your own you’re likely to see as higher price later on with a less ordinary color according to a recent study performed by iSeeCars.com. This could be because only about 1 in 20 cars are actually colorful. They are more scarce and that results in higher prices when it comes time to sell. Another real benefit of picking up a colorful car is that most auto dealerships will work with you on the price more, since it’s going to be more difficult for them to sell than the standard back or white.

If you are willing to shop around for a bit, and you don’t have a problem being flexible when choosing a vehicle you can save yourself a lot of money by researching resale values before making a purchase. Instead of focusing on things like fuel efficiency buy the car that will really save you money and worry about resale value figures first and foremost.

Volkswagen Shows off their Hybrid Beetle Concept

April 9, 2015

Volkswagen put together an impressive display centered around a set of Volkswagen Beetles for the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Even though there were several different Beetles on display, the most exciting was the VW Beetle Hybrid Concept. It was designed quickly and built to show off what a hybrid gas-electric Beetle would be like to drive around. AutoExpress had the privilege of driving the Beetle around for an extended period and they had nothing but good things to say about the car.

2014 volkswagen beetle

Making the Concept

In order to put together the concept car Volkswagen took the powertrain from the Jetta Hybrid and stuck it into a standard Beetle. When they were putting all the pieces together they gave the vehicle a DSG transmission instead of the CVT that’s used in so many other hybrid vehicles. That change gave the Beetle more spunk and made it a whole lot more enjoyable to drive around.

Other than all of the hybrid powertrain parts the hybrid Beetle was pretty much a standard Beetle in appearances and function. It was surprisingly powerful with plenty of oomph during acceleration thanks to the added torque from the electric motor, but other than that you wouldn’t know you were driving a hybrid at all.

About the Concept Car

The little Beetle was packed with a 1.4 liter gasoline engine and put out a total of 168 HP and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in around 7.9 seconds, which isn’t sports car quick, but it’s fast enough to be enjoyable to drive. The car also offers a 30 mile electric-only range for those close trips around town.

The Other Beetles

On top of the hybrid Beetle Volkswagen came prepared with a variety of other fun Beetles as well. They showed off a Denim convertible, a Sporty R-line model with unique trim and 20 inch wheels. The car was equipped with a unique Onyx and pearl exterior  and a black and yellow interior. Volkswagen wasn’t afraid to use uncharacteristic paint schemes on their Beetles either. There was a Habanero orange Beetle with a custom dash designed to look like a surfboard, and a Fuchsia Beetle with a pink interior for all the girly girls at the show.

Volkswagen’s display was a lot of fun and the Beetle Hybrid showed a lot of promise. It’s likely that Volkswagen will release a hybrid version of their most iconic car in the near future, and it seems like it will actually be quite a bit of fun to drive as well.

 

The Real Benefits of a Diesel Car

March 31, 2015

Diesel vehicles were known as being smelly, slow and not that great for decades. Luckily most diesels arent’ like that today, and you can get some really awesome cars that run on diesel and are relatively clean while packing a major punch. The new technology that’s gone into these modern vehicles is impressive, and can make a major difference. Before you overlook a diesel in favor of a gasoline-powered vehicle again, take a moment and learn the real benefits, you may just realize that you were making a major mistake.

VW TDI

Massive Highway Range

One major benefit that clean diesel vehicles such as the Passat TDI have to offer is a massive range, especially for highway driving. It’s not unheard of for a smaller highway-bound sedan running on diesel to travel more than 800 miles on a single fill up. That’s because efficiency levels are often above 40 MPG on the highway. The major benefits that are offered by driving on the highway are mostly lost in trips around town. For example, the Passat gets a very impressive 46 MPG on the highway, but drops down to 29 MPG in the city. While that isn’t low for a vehicle of its size, it’s not much higher than a gasoline alternative either.

If you frequently take long trips it would make sense to use a clean diesel vehicle to travel with. It would save you fuel and allow you to stop less frequently as well. Both are welcome benefits that most travellers would

Turbo and Torque Driven

TDI Clean Diesel vehicles come with an impressive combination of high torque levels and turbo-charged power that offers fast acceleration and a potent feel when you step on the pedal, even with vehicles that don’t have that much power. This is very useful in SUVs and trucks that are going to be used for hauling purposes. It’s also useful in sporty cars for providing that thrilling feeling of power that draws drivers in and keeps them excited each time they go for a ride.

Lower CO2 Emissions

The final benefit may not be high on your list of concerns, but it s nice  now that you aren’t damaging the environment more by utilizing a diesel vehicle. A clean diesel TDI vehicle produces around 12 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a gasoline vehicle does. This helps reduce your impact on global warming and makes the car, truck or SUV a bit more friendly to the environment.

These benefits are probably more than you first expected, and they add a lot of value and appeal to diesel models like the Golf TDI. Keep the list in mind next time you go shopping and you may convince yourself to pick up a diesel vehicle next.

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